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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

R Leonard

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  1. R Leonard

    1937 Nanjing/Nanking massacre movie questions

    1. Yes, the helmets are correct. The Nationalists were advised by Germans from 1928 to 1938. They were also supplied German weapons and surplus equipment, including helmets. It was a tidy money maker for German industry. The advisors were former military personnel. 2. Yes, see above. Not to mention that stick grenades are fairly easy to manufacture. 3. A very crude, field expedient shaped charge. Wet blanket serves to momentarily channel the force of the combined explosion in the direction of the flat end. Theoretically long enough to blow a hole through what armor a 1930s Japanese tank might possess. Not really something to toss, more something to place where you want it, like to top of a turret, flat side down. A lot of wishful thinking. "vell . . . it should verk . . ."
  2. I suspect that this award was not a personal award, rather it was part of the blanket Congressional Gold Medal awarded to OSS personnel, passed by Congress in 2016. A press release from one of the Senators from my state: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/2/senate-passes-bill-to-award-congressional-gold-medal-to-oss-veterans And the actual legislation, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-114publ269/html/PLAW-114publ269.htm The act clearly references the bronze copies of the gold original which is, I presume, now since the act required same, held at the Smithsonian. And here's another recipient of the same bronze copy https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/05/07/after-74-years-army-veteran-recognized-for-wreaking-wwii-chaos-with-oss/ And another: http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20180402/secret-wwii-commandos-rewarded-for-valor I am certain these awards are far more than just well deserved and, perhaps, somewhat belated, but my personal opinion is that they are not quite the breathless excitement exuded by some of the writers.
  3. He did not receive the Medal of Honor (please do not use abbreviations for decorations). He was awarded with a Congressional Gold Medal for his service as an OSS officer; in fact, what he actually received was a bronze copy of a Congressional Gold Medal. Again, this was NOT a decoration with the Medal of Honor. Congressional Gold Medals used to be important, but can also simply be a case where someone pushes their congressperson hard enough to insert wording in a funding bill and, viola, a medal is awarded. But they don't hand out gold medals, they simply say the award has been made, provide a picture of a generic real thing, put the announcement in the Congressional Record, and and cough up a replica. Illustrative in itself. Don't think I am demeaning the gent, I am not. Sounds like he was involved in the Jedburgh program . . . pretty hairy stuff . . . dropping 3 to 5 man teams into occupied France where they were pretty much on their own. Hopefully they would meet up with the local resistance, but if not . . . well, the results could be, and often were, terminal. The question in my mind is why was he not decorated by the Army? USMC personnel involved in these activities were decorated during and after the war; Peter J Ortiz, for example, was twice decorated with the Navy Cross for his behind the lines work in France for the OSS. If the Army failed to decorate Mr. Gleb, then it is nice to see someone take notice of his service by whatever means. Rant mode on: And of course, if you read the articles on Mr. Gleb, you see the constant repetition of "retired Captain". No reflection on him, but this is journalism run amok, people writing phrases without any conception of what they're saying. Mr. Gleb may be retired, at his age I would hope so, and his terminal rank was Captain, AUS, but that does not make him a retired Captain by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes, when it comes to history and common sense, I think once a journalist's fingers hit the keyboard they loose the ability to think things through. Rant mode off.
  4. R Leonard

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    The correct term, in US service, is "decorated" as in a full dress awards parade when the command is given by the adjutant: "Colors and personnel to be decorated . . . Center . . . March!" At which point the band plays an appropriate number, the colors come forward from the center of the formation, and the personnel to be decorated come traipsing out from wherever they had been stashed and form a line, senior decoration to the right as they face the reviewing stand and between the colors and the reviewing party. 'Struth for certes the word "decorate" is rarely used by anyone to describe pinning or hanging a medal on someone. That being said, "received" is okay and, yes, even "awarded," in the non specific vernacular, but never, ever, any form of "win" or "won" . . . performing an act for which one is decorated is/was not a competition. And a posthumous award, usually given to the next of kin . . . the decoration, whatever it might be, is presented to such, though the reality is for Medals of Honor, Navy Crosses, Distinguished Service Crosses, and Air Force Crosses, the top tier medals for valor in US service, presentations are usually fairly public affairs. Below that, such presentations tend to be less ostentatious and are generally fairly private affairs usually conducted in an office somewhere. By the end of the WW2, posthumous decorations were simply mailed to the next of kin with a nice letter from somebody important and the citation.
  5. R Leonard

    1920s Banana Wars

    In the period which you address, in the USN, only capital ships, BBs, CAs, CVs, and the larger CLs, had Marine detachments; anything smaller did not, smaller CLs, DDs on down. Pretty much that way today in the modern equivalents. May I suggest the USMC Small Wars Manual, circa 1936 rev 1940, here's a link https://archive.org/details/SmallWarsManual1940 and some evaluation of same http://www.classicsofstrategy.com/2015/09/small-wars-manual-marine-corps.html and then there's this: https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/1996/11/lessons-yesterdays-operations-short-war-nicaragua-and-small-wars-manual
  6. Royal Navy, group 2 or group 3, "T" Class submarine. Not saying you're wrong, but I can find no reference, albeit through a very fast and dirty look, to any of them being at Caen. Most served in the Pacific in the post D-Day period. On the other hand, the picture is what it is, a T Class submarine with what appears to be to be in the background, from the architecture, a French city. There were two or three T Class that went to the Royal Netherlands Navy, but from the uniforms, this does not look like it would be be of them.
  7. R Leonard

    War in the Caribbean

    Thought so. He was 4 years ahead of my father at Annapolis. Sending you a PM.
  8. R Leonard

    War in the Caribbean

    Richard St. Clair, right?
  9. R Leonard

    Operation Patriot

    Interesting take, but not exactly true. RN, even USN, practice is to use the word "fire" to order the discharge of a weapon . . . goes back a few hundred years, indeed, to the age of wooden ships. "Shoot" is something one tends to hear in movies.
  10. R Leonard

    Mitsubishi Zero Fighter Report

    The manifold pressure gauge from this plane, which can be found in the US Navy Museum at the Washington DC Navy Yard, is clearly marked on the back with the Sopwith logo. My father, who flew this plane five or six times (I'd have to double-check his pilots log book) in late 1944, collected the port wing tip, the aforesaid gauge, and the airspeed indicator from the pile of junk in Hangar 40 at NAS San Diego after the plane had been wrecked in February 1945. We carted that stuff around for the rest of my father's naval career, he retired in 1971 after 33 years commissioned service. He donated the parts to the museum in 1986 - sure wish he had asked me first.
  11. R Leonard


    Oh, please. You should first, perhaps, look into who first used chemical weapons in warfare and when. Then, perhaps, you should read up on the international efforts since that usage for armaments control and limitations. Frankly an internet forum is hardly the place to embark on a topic upon which entire college courses are taught. You also might want to learn to discern between a "nuke", a nuclear device, and and an atomic bomb; if you knew your ordnance you would know they are not the same thing. Unless, of course, your purpose is just a feeble anti-American screed. If so, you should say so.
  12. R Leonard

    Regarding the Doolittle Raid

    The event in question occurred on Saturday, 18 April 1942. From the USS Nashville war diary for April 1942 on that date: At dawn the NASHVILLE was steaming in company with aircraft carriers ENTERPRISE and HORNET and cruisers NORTHAMPTON, SALT LAKE CITY, and VINCENNES enroute to a point at which the bombers on the HORNET were to be launched. At 0632 the course was 220 T. and speed was 23 knots. At 0741 an enemy ship was sighted bearing 350 relative at a distance of about 10,000 yards. The following is a chronological record of the engagement: 0744 General Quarters sounded. 0748 Enemy ship bore 201 T. at a range of 9,000 yards. 0752 Received order from Admiral Halsey to attack vessel and sink same. 0753 Opened fire with main battery, firing salvo fire at a range of 9,000 yards 0754 Shifted to rapid fire. 0755 Checked fire, Target could not be seen 0756 Resumed firing. Bombing planes made attack on enemy vessel. They returned the fire of the planes with machine guns and a light cannon. 0757 Enemy headed toward the NASHVILLE. 0801 Bombing planes made another attack on enemy ship. This fire returned by the enemy. 0804 Opened fire. This fire was returned but enemy shells fell short. 0809 Bombing planes made another attack. Changed course to the lest in order to close the enemy. 0814 Increased speed to 25 knots. 0819 commenced firing salvo fire. 0821 steadied on course 095 T. Enemy vessel on fire. 0823 Enemy ship sunk. 0827 Commenced maneuvering to pick up survivors. Attempts to rescue on man sighted proved unsuccessful. 0846 Went to 25 knots to rejoin formation. 1102 Sighted Task Force bearing 235 T. 1153 Resumed station in formation. During this engagement 938 rounds of 6” ammunition were expended due to the difficulty in hitting the small target with the heavy swells that were running and the long range at which fire was opened. This range was used in order to silence the enemy’s radio as soon as possible. The ship sunk was a Japanese patrol boat and was equipped with radio and anti-aircraft machine guns. During the encounter with the craft the Army bombers carried on the HORNET were launched to make their attack on Tokyo. When NASHVILLE rejoined the formation the ships had reversed course and were steaming on course 092 T. at 25 knots. During the afternoon the following action took place: 1409 Went to General Quarters, OTC having ordered this ship to sink two Japanese sampans reported by aircraft. 1411 Sighted ship bearing 350, range 10,700 yards. 1415 Dive bombers made attack on enemy. 1417 Planes made second attack on enemy; their fire was returned by the enemy. 1422 Opened fire with main battery firing salvo fire at a range of 4,500 yards 1424 Checked fire. 1425 Resumed fire. 1427 Checked fire. 1429 Opened fire with 5” battery. 1435 Checked fire. 1439 Opened fire with main battery. 1440 Ceased fire as vessel was sinking. Prepared to pick up survivors. 1446 Enemy vessel sank. Five survivors were seen. These men were all picked up by this ship. All but one were uninjured and suffered only from shock and immersion. 1500 Picked up last survivor and began maneuvering to rescue pilot and passenger of ENTERPRISE plane which crashed in water astern of ship. 1517 Rescued two fliers. 1518 Commenced maneuvering to rejoin formation. The second ship was a patrol craft similar to the first. 65 rounds of 5” ammunition and 102 rounds of main battery ammunition were used in this engagement. End of 18 April 1942 war diary entry So, yes, there were 5 prisoners rescued for the Japanese patrol boat sunk on the afternoon of 18 April 1942. There was an unsuccessful attempt to rescue a single survivor of the patrol boat sunk that morning. USS Nashville was the sole US ship involve, though apparently aircraft from Enterprise were involved in both cases, and one, apparently a little too assiduously and ending up in the water. The Commanding Officer’s (Capt Francis S Craven, USN) action report provides snippets of additional information. With regard to survivors of the morning action: From paragraph 2: “. . . Two survivors were reported in the water but neither could be recovered. The Commanding Officer personally saw only one who apparently was wounded and sank before he could be reached.” And regarding the second patrol boat: From paragraph 3: “. . . At about 1446, just as she sank, we recovered 5 survivors and proceeded to rejoin. From the survivors it was ascertained by the sign language that the original crew had totaled eleven. Presumably the names of the prisoners and also of those lost can be obtained from the survivors by a Japanese interpreter. The other enemy patrol Bessel was not seen but the ENTERPRISE pilot, whom we rescued soon afterward said he had set it on fire and believed he had sunk it. Search for it therefore was abandoned.” Paragraph 12 addressed air attacks during shelling: “12. Diving by planes against a target under gun fire. ENTERPRISE planes were attacking the first vessel and planes from one of the carriers were attacking the second vessel, during the time were firing. This was rendered hazardous by the erratic performance of projectiles which had lost their wind shields, and by very low dives of the planes. Pulling out at greater heights is recommended. Many dives were to within 100 feet of the water or less.” One might note that most of the air attacks were strafing runs made by F4F fighters, hence the rather close quarters. Not that SBDs were not involved, they were, but most of them attacked other Japanese patrol vessels in the area. Paragraphs 13, 14, 15, and 16 specifically address the actual recovery of survivors: “13. Recovery of survivors. The five prisoners taken from the second ship were brought aboard over the forecastle, and this same method was soon afterward used effectively and expeditiously (13 minutes from crash to rescue) in getting aboard two aviators from a crashed plane. For these reasons, and in view of the sea conditions, the following description is considered to be of probable interest. “14. In rescuing the survivors of the patrol vessel, approach was made from up wind. The men were well clustered, and on reaching them the heading was changed slightly to the left, to bring them under the starboard bow which became the lee bow. They were thrown lines, and were brought aboard with these lines and also over a sea ladder comprised of a cargo net one of which is permanently stopped to our lifelines on each side of the forecastle. The ship drifted downwind faster than the men, and so brought them all gradually within reach. One was wounded and another virtually exhausted, yet all were recovered without great difficulty although the ship was rolling heavily. She soon fell off into the trough of the sea, and the actual rescues were effected while lying in the trough. “15. Realizing from this that she usually would fall off into the trough, we did not wait to approach the aviators from up wind but simply brought them under the lee bow while heading along the troughs. Both aviators came aboard over the cargo net. “16. There was some confusion on the forecastle, together with difficulty in locating quickly the proper gear for effecting rescue. While the confusion resulted partly from curiosity to see the survivors, it was a consequence also of the ship’s being still at general quarters, so that normal administrative arrangements on the forecastle were lacking, as were good communications. For these reasons, and since future war-time rescues over the forecastle appear not improbable, a special Rescue Bill is being developed to meet such occurrences. This will be a General Quarters bill, with the Gunnery Officer detailing personnel from the forward turrets or a 5-inch battery and providing battle-telephone communications from a turret. Necessary gear will be made up and stowed in convenient location on the main deck in the vicinity of the 5-inch guns.” Searching about in various files and records at hand, the aircraft which crashed during the firing on the second patrol boat was from VB-6 (6-B-4, b/n # 4603) and was believed to have suffered engine damage from return fire from the second patrol boat. The pilot was LT Lloyd Addison Smith (75066), USN; Smith’s back seat radio/gunner was AMM2c Herman H. Caruthers (223 70 23), USN.
  13. R Leonard

    Denmark in the Vietnam War ?

    Document. Show me an official document. Otherwise it is all posers and conspiracy theory that depends on gullibility. The Australians were well involved in Vietnam and exchanges of personnel between them and other commonwealth nations was not at all unusual, but this does not come close to being seconded to US forces. oh, and the guy in your link? Maybe you should read closer and see where he as born in Raleigh North Carolina USA, joined the army, served his three years and returned home. The article is from 2015 and notes he and his wife now live in Denmark. That hardly makes him a Danish soldier who was shuffled of to Vietnam.
  14. R Leonard

    Denmark in the Vietnam War ?

    What one usually hears is some variation of "I could tell you more, but it is a secret," or "all the documents are sealed," or "the operations I was in were so secret that nothing was ever written down." These should set off thousands of little alarm bells . . . if the event or events were so much of a secret, why is this guy telling you, a total stranger? This is a come-on. Mostly these people are, let me see, what would be a good description, how about "liars." It is a cottage industry. You'd be surprised how many Vietnam veterans were there, if you do the math, when they were 10 years old. Were there foreign nationals is the US Army who served in Vietnam? Why, yes, but not as part of some national trade-off, only as individuals. Rick Rescorla comes to mind, look him up. A single individual joining the US Army after arriving in the US; typical of foreign nationals in US service.